Steve Jobs gave employees a little speech when they were promoted to Vice President at Apple, according to Adam Lashinsky in an article in Fortune.
Lashinsky calls it the "Difference Between the Janitor and the Vice President."
Jobs told the VP that if the garbage in his office is not being emptied regularly for some reason, he would ask the janitor what the problem is. The janitor could reasonably respond by saying, "Well, the lock on the door was changed, and I couldn't get a key."
An understandable excuse for why the janitor couldn't do his job. As a janitor, he's allowed to have excuses.
"When you're the janitor, reasons matter," Jobs told newly minted VPs, according to Lashinsky.
"Somewhere between the janitor and the CEO, reasons stop mattering," said Jobs, adding, that Rubicon is "crossed when you become a VP."
You have no excuse for failure. You are now responsible for any mistakes that happen.
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Our condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of Steve Jobs.